In my prior two postings, I discuss two companies offering products designed to help prevent litigation by assisting with compliance issues. I observed that this is a space that law firms generally do not occupy. That is not entirely true. Law firm Bryan Cave is a technology innovator, having introduced its eCave suite of services some time ago. I first became aware of eCave when the firm introduced online interactive legal services a few years ago.

A recent article in titled Learn Ethics in Your Spare , reports that “[t]he rising concern about insider training has led at least one law firm to take the unusual step of creating a Web-based ethics course to help companies train, test, and track training efforts. This do-it-yourself program, developed and sold by the law firm of Bryan Cave LLP, takes about 20 minutes to complete, and creates a paper trail.” The article also reports that Bryan Cave is talking to insurers about offering a discount on D&O policies at corporations that use the product. Furthermore, it gives the product a very favorable review, reporting that the online training is short, very well written, and easy to use. The reviewer was also impressed by links in the training to more in-depth materials.

It will be interesting to see if other firms offer online services or if the space will be left primarily to players outside the legal market or non-law firm players such as The Legal Research Center or LRN (The Legal Knowledge Company), both of which offer compliance training services.

In thinking about entering the world of online services, law firms face many challenges. One is that online services are a very different business than selling hours. Another is that the margin on selling hours is very high compared to almost any other business. What many firms may not realize, however, is the potential relationship benefits of online services and the potential ability to generate traditional legal matters.